Friday, November 20, 2009

Book Quotes: Displacing the Natives

From The Making of a Human Bomb: An Ethnography of Palestinian Resistance by Nasser Abufarha (p. 42):

The central event in Palestinian modern history is the loss of Palestine in 1948 and the establishment of the state of Israel in it. During the Jewish militia war that year for the establishment of Israel and its aftermath, Israel had erased approximately 418 Palestinian villages from the six hundred Palestinian villages that fell under its control. The new state moved Jewish populations to occupy Palestinian homes in urban towns. Eleven Palestinian cities were settled by Jews and became Jewish cities after most of their Palestinian residents were evacuated, and in some cities all of the Palestinian residents were displaced. Over 800,000 Palestinians were displaced and exciled. Displaced Palestinians were and still are denied reentry into Palestine by Israel.

The events of 1948 were followed by systematic Israeli reconfiguration of Palestine into Israel directly after its takeover. The Israeli ethnic cleansing campaign against the Palestinian population that fell under the control of new Israel continued through the 1950s. Jewish Kibbutzim with Jewish names were erected on the sites of 121 Palestinian vllages (PASSIA 2002, W. Khailidi 1992).

The UN erected refugee camps for displaced Palestinians as temporary shelters awaiting resolution in the neighboring Arab states of Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon. The exodus referred to by Palestinians as al-Nakbah (the catastrophe) represents the main "prescriptive event" in modern Palestinian history.

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